Supporting Children with Disabilities and their parents
June 2019 saw the start of our very first official Learn & Play Holiday Club. This year the team decided that they wanted to provide a more intensive learning and support environment for children with disabilities and children who are participating in the catch-up programme.
The learn and play holiday club took place from 25-28 June and had 41 children attend, supported across all three programmes (NCB, schools and ECD). A big difference for this year which has been a major theme for Siyakwazi in 2019 was getting the parents involved too. Each child attending holiday club was accompanied by a parent or caregiver who would participate with the child in the various activities.
Children of all abilities were included, and activities were differentiated to support children with physical or cognitive barriers. Nontuthuko who has been supporting inclusive ECD hubs through implementing uHambo’s Ndinogona programme was able to put a lot of the programme’s activities to use.
But Holiday Club isn’t just where the Learn & Play group will stop!
Our team have started an official Learn & Play Club which takes place every Wednesday. It follows on the idea of parent participation where parents accompany their children to Siyakwazi’s resource centre for a morning of learning and activities.
Mpume, Siyakwazi’s Inclusion Coordinator says that it’s a great way to encourage ongoing participation from parents, it also gives them a chance to take their kids out for a morning and interact with others in a safe and structured way. Parents can share their stories and experiences with each other whist gaining valuable support from Siyakwazi’s team and resource centre.
“The Learn & Play group is not replacing the home visits that the NCB team do every week,” explains Cathy, “but rather adding value to them. We want parents to be visiting our resource centre and making use of the toy library, creating a fun day is a great way of incentivising this.”
The Learn & Play group will follow weekly themes like communication skills for non-verbal children and supporting the early stages of sound and word recognition. “We also want to use these days to create some awareness and understanding on different types of disabilities, early identification as well as knowing where to get the holistic support most disabilities require to ensure complete care of the child ,” states Cathy.
The Learn & Play group is in its early stages and will continue to grow as new resources are added. A community-based counsellor who is currently volunteering at Siyakwazi will also be using the opportunity to support the parents in sharing their experiences.
A special Thank You to the following donors who have made additions like the Learn & Play group possible:
Build IT (Margate & Port Edward), Impande Norway, Monthly private donors, Harbourview Spar